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First Responders Contain East Garden City Fire

AvalonBay to begin rebuilding immediately

If you were driving in East Garden City last Wednesday morning, you may have noticed a sky full of billowing smoke after one of the AvalonBay condominium buildings became engulfed in flames.

More than 100 firefighters from 10 local fire departments responded to the call kat 11 a.m. at one of the condo units under construction on Stewart Avenue. According to the Nassau County Police, one firefighter was taken to the hospital with a shoulder injury and was released.

Nassau County Police said preliminary investigation revealed the fire was accidental and caused by a construction worker on site.

In an interview with Garden City Life, Matthew Whalen, vice president for AvalonBay Communities, Inc., said the firm is planning to rebuild the damaged 15 units immediately. “We had the insurance companies out over the last couple of days. Over the next week, the rebuilding process will begin,” said Whalen.

The fire was well isolated by the emergency responders and no residents were injured in the blaze, according to Whalen.

“I have to commend all those in the different fire departments, especially Uniondale Fire Department. This was a big fire and they were able to keep it in one building and no other buildings were damaged.

“From our perspective, the bottom line and the most important thing is that there were no serious injuries…I want to thank the first responders who really did a fantastic job,” he added.

Construction began on the luxury rental development in the summer of 2011 and will be completed by the end of 2012. Whalen noted that leasing is going well. “We do have our first residents on-site and we’re ahead of schedule and the buildings have been occupied and we’ve had a great response to the site so far.”